THE TEACHER AND THE LIARS
Mar 10, 2006 10:19 AM
by carlosaveline cardoso aveline
A Lesson Useful to All of Us:
THE DAY OLCOTT DID NOT DEFEND BLAVATSKY
Carlos Cardoso Aveline
Some students of Esoteric Philosolphy now defend H.P.Blavatsky and her
teachings from several kinds of disguised attacks.
But the task could be to defend other Truth seekers, if we were in different
points in time.
Pythagoras, Socrates, St. John of the Cross, Giordano Bruno, Baruch Spinoza,
Alessandro Cagliostro and H. P. Blavatsky all suffered cruel persecution.
And they are not exceptions in History: examples are countless. For millenia
now, nearly every brave soul who did any important work in favour of
mankind has been in one way or another misunderstood and attacked by his
In all such situations Karma has created, as we see right now, the need and
the opportunity for students to openly defend these pioneers and teachers.
Through solidarity, each learner can preserve and enhance his magnetic link
with the source of the spiritual lessons he learns. This preservation and
defence – a conscious priviledge for some – is not just individual. It must
be also collective. It is not just subjective. It must be objective. It has
to be done in the same level of reality in which the attacks happen.
Perhaps the story of an event in the early years of the theosophical
movement can illustrate the challenge of defending the Teacher. One day,
during the late 1870s, Henry Olcott met in New York an acquaintance with
whom he stopped for a few moments to chat. Olcott wrote in his “Old Diary
“The man was very prejudiced against HPB, and he spoke very harshly against
her, keeping to his opinion despite all I could say. At last he used such
objectionable language that, in sheer disgust, I hastily left him and went
on my way.”
A few hours later, when Olcott was at home, a paper was materialized – or
precipitated – before him. It was a copy of some aphorisms from the buddhist
Dhammapada and Sutras. It came with the signature from one of the
Adept-Teachers and a two-words message which simply said – “Translation
Olcott wrote: “The verses were reproaches to my address for having allowed
HPB to be reviled without defending her; unmistakably referring to my
encounter down town with a person I had met, although no names were
The importance of this event is that the message from the “Dhammapada” is
not just in the past. The message is valid to the students of HPB in the
21st century and in the next centuries as well. As we see Mr. Algeo’s new
edition of old forgeries against HPB, the three main paragraphs quoted by
the Master and sent to Olcott give us real food for thought. Especially if
we acknowledge that the soul of HPB is, in fact, our brother. The
* “He who hears his brother reviled, and keeping a smooth face leaves the
abuse unnoticed, tacitly agrees with the enemy, as if he admitted the same
to be proper and just. He who does it is mouse-hearted, or selfishness is
at the bottom of his heart. He is not fit to become a ‘companion’.”
* “Revenge is sinful and throws the ‘companion’ in the embrace of Zahak. He
who permits his left hand to be polluted with dung without immediately
wiping it with his right cares little for the cleanliness of his whole body.
What constitutes the integral? – parts. Of what is composed a human body? –
of limbs. If one limb cares not for the appearance of another limb, is not
Zahak ready with trowel and brush to blacken the whole? Such a ‘companion’
is not ready to become a Brother.”
* “It is easy to destroy the poisonous houâbá in its first germination. It
is difficult to arrest its progress when once allowed to mature. Its
unhealthy emanations will fill the atmosphere with miasmas It will spread
and infect its healthy brethren and cause the limpid waters of the lake to
stagnate and dry. Avoid the houâbà and its husbandman, Beloved.” (2)
Unfortunately, this message did not prevent Henry Olcott from making other
mistakes along the same line, later on. Yet he had the merit of defending
HPB against Mr. V. Solovyovs’ libels, and wrote that Solovyov was “as
heartless and contemptible, though fifty times more talented than the
What can students do, now, about the false accusations against HPB or about
various forms of disrespect with regard to the real founders of the
theosophical movement and to Theosophy itself? We are not mere spectators:
our actions depend on us.
One of the stimulating factors we can take into consideration when we think
of HPB is that she is not really dead.
There is no death for a soul like the one who was once born under the name
of Helena Petrovna von Hahn. And the work and life-example of such a soul is
now, as it will be in the future, an occult and magnetic bridge between
mankind and the Elder Brothers.
Hence my sincere congratulations to all those, who, within Theos-talk or
outside of it, defend in one way or another their teachers and the sources
of their spiritual inspiration, once it is certain that they are unjustly
The defenders are the first to benefit, at an inner level, from such a
Best regards, Carlos.
(1) Old Diary Leaves, H. S. Olcott, First Series, TPH, Adyar, 1974, 490 pp.,
see pp. 414-415.
(2) Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Second Series, transcribed by
C. Jinarajadasa, Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Madras, India, 1973.
See Letter 23, pp. 47-49.
(3) Old Diary Leaves, H. S. Olcott, Third Series, TPH, Adyar, 1972, 460
pp., see p. 185.
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